The Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) has approved an ordinance banning entry of mango fruits and seedlings in a move aimed to protect from pests its growing mango industry.
Mango production is the most promising industry in this island city, sitting in the Davao Gulf, more known for its white-sand beaches that have become a major tourism attraction in the Davao Region.
Resolution No. 667, which took effect this month. also called for creation of a team of government personnel deputized to guard entry points to the island city to prevent the entry of the fruit.
The western shoreline of Igacos facing Davao City is dotted with dozens of beach resorts. Thousands of people cross daily through small ferry boats from Davao City for picnics, meetings or conventions, whose luggage had to be searched for mangoes.
About 8,000 hectares are planted to mangoes in this island city that has been declared as “mango-pest free” in Special Quarantine Administrative Order 2 of the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI). Inspired by the fast growth of the industry, the local government has adopted mango production under its One-Town One-Product program.
Primarily, the ordinance will stop the entry of mango pests like pulp weevil and mango seed weevil, said Noel Daquioag, city information officer of Igacos.
Daquioag said the ban will not affect small vendors selling mangoes, Igacos having enough local production that are even exported by mango growers.
First-days implementatiion of the ordinance brought a little confusion and surprises.
People were surprised that at the piers they were searched for mangoes, told to deposit them and to retrieve them when they cross the sea back home, said Daquioag. Many of them just ate the fruit when told they have to be deposited. But they were also advised to pick up the peelings and seeds that have to be deposited with the quarantine team, when they leave the island, he said.